Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Looking Back At 2013

Well it's that time of year again.......
From a personal perspective I've never known a year quite like it, much that was in life is no more and there's pain & grief. However, this has been tempered by new beginnings which have provided cause for joy & optimism.
Once again this year's review will simply take the form of a collection of photographs from each month of 2013.
Thanks for reading and in 2014, watch this space...................
But for now, wishing you all the Peace & Joy that this special season brings

After a day on Raise in full winter conditions with the In2venture guys - caught this superb view of Blencathra from Stannah

Other worldly on High Street - so many good photos from this day

Three day trip to Snowdonia with Alan Rainford, stayed at Pete's Eats - this was our first visit to Wrysgan Slate Mine

View from a boat - what a superb day out on Ullswater

Highest I've ever been on my own two feet, Prada Llana & Alto del Chorillo in Spain's Las Alpajurras

Fantastic expedition with the In2venture Community - Loch Morar

Summer '13 was excellent. Loads of work with school groups, this is the In2venture instruction team from the summer on High Pike, North Lakes

Wrysgan for real, with a group for the first time. Really enjoyed 2 weeks working out of Llyn Gwynant campsite

Cloud inversion on Grassmoor

Stunning weather at our local climbing crag - Headend Quarry, North Cumbria

We went on holiday to Torridon for the last few days in October, early November. This is dawn over Loch Torridon. There were stacks of good photos from this trip, we also had three days in Cwmorthin slate mine but this dawn image has precluded putting any of them in the review

Finished the year out with some canoe coaching, locally, on Derwent Water

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Wet Morning In Hause Gill With In2enture

Saturday was a wet & windy day in the Lake District. We'd planned to do Crinkle Crags via Issac Gill with the In2venture Community - but postponed in favour of the more sheltered Hause Gill.

Below are a picture & link to a YouTube video clip.

December Sunshine At Headend Quarry

Still very much playing catch up with posts at the moment........................

Last Wednesday saw the winter climbing project progress further with another visit to our local venue - Headend Quarry.

The weather was amazing, 13 degC and bright sunshine made it feel like a Spring evening.

Our climbing is beginning to show signs of improvement with everything climbed on this visit having a letter "S" in the grade. For me this trip included lead climbs on: Diogenes (S); Devil's Kneecap (HS) & Headend Chimney (MS).

The end of day view, south, into the Northern Fells was special (see last photo)

Some Open Canoeing

In recent years I've been fortunate enough to be the recipient of some excellent training from Glyn Mitchell both in the mountains and more recently in the area of rock climbing. As such it was a real privilege to reciprocate with some time open canoeing last  Monday out on Derwent Water, all being well we will continue on moving water later this coming week.

The weather started off treating us very kindly with mild, overcast and still conditions as we paddled out with several stops to practise forward paddling; backward paddling; sideways movement & turning. There was much conversation - it was a thoroughly enjoyable morning that saw us make it from Kettlewell to one of the islands for lunch.

The return journey was a little more interesting, as typically, the wind got up making it necessary for us to construct a katamaran to negotiate our way through the white topped waves in order to return to our starting point. More of this to come!


Thursday, 5 December 2013

North Cumbria Crags

This year's winter project is the improvement of personal climbing skills. To this end after a couple of excellent days training with Glyn Mitchell where we visited Kendall Climbing Wall; Hutton Roof & Scratchmere Crags (near Penrith) - Graham Simpson & myself have been persevering with the up-skilling programme on nearby crags in Northern Cumbria. The current standard is very much V Diff - Severe & the cold weather is making Spring & Summer evenings look very attractive but some time off yet.

We've made a couple of visits to Headend Quarry, very much the local crag & climbed a good variety of routes here: Blah (S); Snail Wall (S); Piggy Malone (HS); Novice Route (V Diff); Birds Nest (D); Bilberry (V Diff) to name a few.

Graham after seconding Snail Wall at Headend Quarry

This week we made a visit to Seat Quarry just outside of Caldbeck, like Headend its an old limestone quarry. The guidebook describes the venue as being "flakey" which is fair - its horrible. The day we visited was fine & dry with bright blue skies but the temperatures were Baltic at just 3 degrees in a brisk North Westerly wind.
We had a go at Seat Arete (S) & Faulds (S) before retiring.
The rock here does, however, bite back - see bottom photo!
Seat Quarry

Graham on Seat Arete


Rock That Bites